Jan 3, 2013 11:00pm EST
who suffered a severe stroke nearly a year ago. vice president joe biden and west virginia's joe manchin helped senator kirk slowly ascend the 45 steps of the ceremonial staircase that leads to the senate floor. [ applause ] >> reporter: the assembled legislators spontaneously broke into applause several times at the return of senator kirk. inside the chamber the vice president administered the oath of office to small groups of the newly elected senators including virginia's tim kaine. >> and that you will faithfully discharge the duties of your office upon which you're about to enter so help you god. >> i do. >> congratulations, senators. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> reporter: later virginia's newest senator mingled with supporters in a reception. tim kaine who worked with a republican dominated legislature as governor of virginia says he's coming to the congress to build bipartisan bridges but with his eyes wide open. >> that means over the next 60 days with a ticking clock on sequester and on the debt ceiling we've got to continue to talk about budget and physical soundness.